Yum Thai is one of those places with a secret. A secret de-coded. Over time, I have learned the details of the Thai written menu, and I learned that to order the apparantly same dishes from this menu produced much better food. I think I might be on to yet another secret of Yum Thai, lunch.
I lunched at Yum Thai with the Condiment Queen yesterday, and ate very well. One of my previous best meals there had been lunch with G Wiv. Perhaps, without the intense-later-in the day take-out business that keeps this place going, they can put more attention into the mid-day meal. In fact one of the startling secrets we have been able to pry out of Yum Thai is that the "American" style dishes are mostly made ahead of time, while the "Thai" dishes are made to order. I wonder if the slower lunch time means even more made to order, even more attention so to speak.
Yesterday, my wife mostly wanted noodles and she got the sweet, spicy and chewy kee-mow (stir fried wide rice noodles). I had a soup-curry called, well I cannot say, I've searched high and low, but right now I cannot find my version of the translated secret menu. It is a yellow curry, sour and hot, with plenty of vegetables. foodfirst ghe generous and knowageable Chowhound who has translated Yum Thai's menu for me said this dish came with fried catfish, but yesterday my soup had shrimps. Whatever it was, it was very good. Last, we split a beef salad. This is one dish I am not even sure is on the Thai menu, but I tell them exactly how to make it. Grilled sliced beef in the lime fish sauce dressing with too many cloves of Goodfella thin garlic and too many slices of chilies--I just wish that yesterday's jalepeno's were not so dead. Still, boy did this dish crank. The beef got dressed right off the grill, gas grill as it may be, and the sauce got slightly absored, and then that embarrassing amount of garlic. I treasured that reek all day.
Right now, I am most confident with Yum Thai at lunch. And make sure to ask for the translated "secret menu" (i.e., the English version of the Thai menu, not the regular "American" menu.)
7748 W Madison
Forest Park, IL. 60130